I was so excited recently to take possession of my great gran mother’s Singer sewing machine. Born in 1875 and died in 1952. Janet (Inglis) Rae must have got it when it was new & she would have been 42.
This is her & looking very beautiful if I do say so myself. Obviously dressed in her best for the picture. She had 5 children, the 2nd of them my grandfather John Rae.
This is the machine that I first learned to sew on, turning the handle slowly not to stitch my fingers & making clothes for my dolls.
The machine is in good shape though it has been used a lot. It has a serial number of F8134433, which tells us it was manufactured in 1917. I do love the fact you can find these kinds of details through the internet. In particular the Singer company has good records of there manufacturing numbers.
These old crank handled machines are very well made & unlike today’s all singing & dancing numbers there’s very little that can go wrong. You can find instructions on cleaning & restoring online but I just went for it with a damp cloth. I started with the wooden cover & then worked my way around the main metal movements. When all was free of dust & dirt I got my oil out, they have made it so easy with beautifuly engraved covers held on with 1 or 2 screws. Basically, if it was a joint I oiled it & as I went on the mechanism ran smoother & smoother.
Oh the stitch, considering it is almost 100 years old, is probably as good as the day it was made. What a joy !!
To top it all of I also have the original instruction book & the additional feet!! I could not be happier & am considering making a set of stays on this wee beauty just for the experience of what it would have been like. Here’s a few pictures.
I will treasure this machine & memory of all the clothes that were made for the family on it.